All about February

The Month of February For the Home Gardeners in the North

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

North – February

February is an exceedingly trying month for the home gardener in the north central section of the country. The weather continues to keep him inactive as far as doing any actual gardening is concerned and he knows that there will be many weeks before the earth can be turned, seeds sown and plants set out in garden beds. He must be content to speculate, plan and prepare for the coming season.

February is a good month to get set for the gardening season. Now, rather than when the season begins is the time to check over garden supplies, seeds, tools and equipment. Tools should be examined for needed repairs, sharpening and the possibilities of replacements with new ones.

Power equipment should be gone over to be sure that it is in good working order. Overhauling can be done leisurely and with a certain amount of pleasure which would be absent if it is put off until the time comes when tools and equipment are actually needed to do garden work in spring.

These last few weeks of winter should be devoted to reading and studying plant culture and gardening practices. This can be almost as great a pleasure as active gardening itself.

The Reluctant Gardening Calendar – February

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

February is showing the first, ominous, signs that the arrival of spring is fast approaching. The wild snowdrops are bobbing heads beneath the hedgerow and this week I have seen the first wild primrose and tiny violets in the riverbank down by the meadow. Add that to the fact that the Christmas cake is, finally, finished, and it’s a good indication that before long even the Reluctant Gardener will have to admit its time to get out and *do something* on the soggy side of the patio door.

It’s the time of year when all those great excuses for leaving things not-done in the autumn – which seemed such a good idea at the time – start to look not-so-good after all. I DO know where the garden shed is located – because I have quite a good memory – it’s just temporarily invisible at the moment. The forsythia and the thingie-with-pink-flowers have grown up, over and around, creating a green burial mound. Last autumn’s labour-saving decision means we will probably need a machete to liberate the mower.

February To Do’s for Arizona Gardeners

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Unfortunately just because it’s February doesn’t mean your yard requires less attention. Instead of putting a lot of energy into your gardens in the spring and fall, try giving them a little attention year-round. The results will be well worth the effort.

Here is a handy guide for February garden tips:

Lawn

- Depending on the temperature, you may still have to water them once to twice per week, but never during the night.

- Fertilize after your first mowing.

Vegetables

- Now is the time to prepare your soil for spring planting. Seeds for some of the hardier plants can also be planted including beets, carrots, corn cucumbers, leaf lettuce, green onions, melons, peas, potatoes, radishes, sunflowers, squash and turnips.

- If you plan on transplanting, now is the time for artichokes, asparagus, chard, lettuce, onions, peppers and tomatoes.

Roses

- Finish pruning your roses by the middle of the month. Minimize your pruning wherever possible. It causes stress in the plant, and makes it susceptible to insect and disease problems. A good rule of thumb is to never remove more than 1/4 of the total plant. Use sharp, disinfected shears for the job.

February in the Garden

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

Often in February there is a surprisingly warm day. Everybody sheds their coats and puts a bounce in their step. The next day they hear a snow plow at 4 AM. But the brief warmup gets you thinking “what is there to do in the landscape?”

Here are a few late winter ideas.

Check out your garden tools, patio furniture, window boxes etc. Paint, repair or discard so you are ready to go when it’s really nice out!

It’s a good time to propagate some house plants. Abundant sunshine is on its way!

Order Seeds! Hey that’s always fun. Try something new this year!

Prune decidous trees that need it. Remove dead or problem branches, crossing branches and basal sprouts. Make sure you know the proper way to do a pruning cut and get an arborist for the big jobs for safety and future health of the tree. The ISA consumer site has great advice here. http://www.treesaregood.com/

Mid February in the Garden

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

There are lots of jobs to do, beginning with the Garden Flowers.

Sow sweet peas in their flowering positions. If you have not time to grow them as cordons, sow the seed in bush formation. The flowers won’t be as large, but they will smell as sweet.

Bring in the last of the spring bulbs from the plunge bed.

Members of the herbaceous border, such as the hardy chry­santhemums, will appreciate attention; they are hardy, but vulnerable to waterlogging after a storm or heavy rainfall.

It’s amazing the number of people, who have shrubs in their garden who believe they need no attention at all, but now is the time to complete all work and transplanting in the shrubbery so that you can give your full attention to the sowing and planting programme just coming up.

As we creep into mid February we should be paying attention to the Climbers, and things aren’t as complicated as they may seem.

Pruning clematis is confusing for beginners, but to simplify the undertaking, varieties that flower on the current year’s growth, such as the lovely summer-flowering purple Jackmanii, the viticella types and the late-flowering species should be cut back to within 12 ins. of the base in February or early March.

Great Gardening Tips for February

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

This is still a great month to work on your garden (if it’s not too cold for you). Here is a list of suggested task for February.

The month with some really nice days, and really cold nights! Some of the warm days may tempt you to plant items that probably should not be planted during the month of February.

Tomato plants are often the veggies planted at this time. If you really want to plant tomatoes, you may want to use a product called “Wall-o-waters” these are see thru plastic columns that are filled with water and placed around your tomato plant. These are designed to help prevent your plants from freezing even in temps as low as 15 degrees f. Ask you friendly nursery for such a product.

Finish off your pruning jobs you may have started in January. The debate is still on-going as to use pruning sealer or not. I recommend using pruning sealer if you see evidence of insects or disease in the immediate area that you are pruning. If you notice no insect or disease activity, then nature will usually heal pruned areas.

What to Do in Your February Gardens

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

In Northern United States and Canada

Finish pruning grapevines without delay and, if mild weather makes it possible to work without discomfort, continue pruning other fruits and deciduous ornamentals. Cut branches of Forsythia, Bush Honeysuckle, Cornelian Cherry, Peach, Quince, Pussy Willow and other Spring-flowering trees and shrubs and stand them in containers of water indoors to delight you with fresh blooms which develop in one to four weeks.

Plants of Bleeding Hearts, Astilbes, Lily-of-the-valley and Hostas, potted in Fall and buried to their rims in a bed of sand or peat moss outdoors, may now be brought inside and forced. Continue to bring in for forcing successive batches of potted Spring-flowering bulbs, Hyacinths, Daffodils and Tulips. Check your perennials to make sure that they have not been heaved out of the soil by frost action. Take advantage of mild weather to press back into place any that have. See that Winter covering remains in place and does not become excessively packed so that air is excluded.

February Gardening – Growing Vegetables

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

There is nothing to stop you growing vegetables at this time of year as long as you follow a few simple rules. To start your vegetable garden off at this time of year you will need to pre-warm your soil so that your vegetables will begin to germinate earlier than normal.

My top tip – Hardy vegetables such as beetroots and carrots need soil temperatures to be above 46F in order to germinate whilst tender veggies such as French beans and sweet corn require a warmer soil temperature of around 54F.

Warm up your soil

Plastic sheeting, old fabric or ideally a cold frame can be used to warm up soil in your garden. Ideally use one of these methods up to six weeks in advance of sowing your vegetable seeds. The covering will help increase the soil temperature during the day and help to reduce heat loss at night. If the soil in your garden is heavy and wet you may want to consider using a raised bed as free draining soil is far easier to warm.

Cabbages, onions, leaks and lettuce can be grown in a cold frame straight away with no pre-warming of your soil required.

Vital Things to Do in the Mid February Garden

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

There are jobs to be done in the greenhouse, the vegetable patch, plus herbs need our attention, and once again that green area we’d like to be a lawn begins to take some priority even over the fruit trees.

In the greenhouse the gloxinia can be started into growth from January until March, but if without glass and heat, it is wiser to wait until the later date.

Place the tubers just below the surface of the soil, using a compost of equal parts of fibrous peat, loam, leaf-mould and well-decayed manure, with a sprinkling of silver sand. Keep the plant close to the glass, watering moderately until growth is well advanced, afterwards freely applying weak liquid manure when buds arrive.

The fuchsia wakes up in February and should be pruned, moved into a warmer temperature and given a light position where it will get the morning sun. The plant should be sprayed with tepid water night and morning, and treated to of liquid manure once flower buds have formed.

Bud dropping, about which there are so many complaints is due to fluctuating temperature – hot days followed by cold nights

Gardening Jobs During February

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

February hopefully won’t be as cold and as snowy as January so more will be able to be done in the garden.

Your Garden Lawn
If the ground has dried out since January you will be able to lay turf, although this should be avoided if there is still a chance of frost. Any damaged edges that you didn’t get a chance to recut during January, then now is the time to do it. Weather permitting and depending on if your lawn does dry, then you may be able to cut your grass. Remember this should be done on a high setting so as to avoid causing any damage.

Garden Greenhouse
Your Fuschias are now safe to water, you should also re-potted to help them start growing, it’s also helpful to give them some feed but don’t overdo it. Any seedlings that you have will need to be turned daily. This will help to ensure that they don’t simply grow towards the light. This is mainly for those with a heated greenhouse. Around midway through the month you can plant your tomatoes and cucumbers although again this is mainly for those with a heated greenhouse. Gloxinia and Begonia tubes can also now be planted.

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